Human ecologists may be employed by or work on a contract basis for:
- Consulting firms
- Utility companies
- Food commodity organizations
- Home decorating firms
- Apparel and fashion manufacturers or retailers
- Not-for-profit social service agencies
- International aid and development agencies
- School boards
- Small businesses
They may move into a wide range of occupations. For example, with additional education a human ecologist may advise on nutrition as a dietitian in a hospital or food service institution. A human ecologist who prefers teaching can share their knowledge with students as a secondary school teacher or college, technical or vocational instructor.
Research positions generally require a post-graduate (master’s or doctoral) degree. Examples include policy analyst within the government sector or conservator or curator in the museum sector. For more examples, see Related Occupations.
Human ecologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:
The employment outlook (pdf) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:
- Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
- Location in Alberta
- Employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
- Occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
- Size of the occupation
Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.
In Alberta, the 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 77 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the 77 new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.